How to take care of the lawn when it is already rooted
The following steps will help you maintain a thick lawn after the sod is rooted. These recommendations are for Cool Season turf grasses such as Kentucky Bluegrass, which Green Warriors Landscaping team is using during the sodding process.
- Cut grass high.
Grass cut at a height of 6 to 8 cm (2 ½ to 3 inches) will develop a deep, extensive root system and grow thicker. This height will promote growth, prevent weeds, and help the soil to retain its moisture better. We recommend to adjust mower at the highest position.
- Remove no more than ⅓ of the grass blade. Cutting away more than ⅓ of the grass height seriously damages your grass. If you miss a mowing session and the grass is far too tall, remove ⅓ of the grass, then wait a few days before cutting it down to the desired height.
- Mow when the lawn is cool and dry. Avoid mowing during the hottest part of the day, when grass is vulnerable. Also avoid mowing while the grass is wet. Wet clippings clump on the lawn instead of getting evenly distributed.
- Leave grass clippings on the lawn.
Grass clippings decompose quickly and provide nutrients for the lawn.
Attention! If your grass is overgrown and you remove long blades- then don't leave them on the grass!
- Sharpen mower blades regularly. Dull mower blades shred the grass blades, leaving them ragged and vulnerable to further damage. An annual sharpening is usually fine for a home lawn.
- Cut the grass short at the end of the growing season. Once your lawn stops growing, remove an extra 0.5–1 inch (1.25–2.5 cm) on the final mow. This helps prevent matted grass and snow mold over the winter.
For new sodded lawn we recommended to water it twice per day for 2 weeks.
After 2 weeks you can water lawn every other day once per day for another 2 weeks.
In one month after new sod installation you can water you lawn twice a week once per day for another month and after that go to recommendation for well rooted sod watering (once a week) .Please track the weather and heat condition while following watering recommendations.
- Water well established sod deeply and infrequently (once per week).
Cool season grasses (Kentucky Bluegrass) generally need 1–1.5 inches (2.5–3.8cm) per week, rising to 2.25 inches (5.7 cm) in hot, dry weather.
This approach encourages root growth, which increases resistance to drought and disease. Each watering session should moisten the soil down to the depth of the lowest existing roots, which tend to be at least six inches (15cm) for a healthy lawn. To track the amount of water you're using- put a tuna or pet food can on your lawn. Stop watering when it's full.
- Water before 10:00 a.m. for best health.
Cool, humid, low-wind conditions distribute water evenly and reduce loss to evaporation. Ideal conditions usually occur between 8am and 10 am.
A slow-release high nitrogen granular fertilizer should be applied no sooner than 4 weeks after the sod has been installed.
For the best results with cool-season grasses, you should fertilize lightly in the spring and the heaviest in the fall. If fertilizing only once per year, it would be most beneficial to apply it late summer, or in the fall, ideally after the last mow of the year.
Fertilizing every 6-8 weeks will yield the healthiest and greenest grass, it will be better able to withstand extreme weather, recover more quickly from foot traffic, and it will be more resistant to disease.
Following the “every 6-8 weeks” schedule will have you fertilize approximately 5 times throughout the year:
The morning or late afternoon are ideal times to apply fertilizer, and when weather conditions are mild. It shouldn’t be applied during the hottest time of the day, and don’t use it when there is a drought or extended hot weather spell as it might burn the grass.
More information about lawn fertilizing:
AERATING AND DETHATCHING
Aerating involves making holes in your lawn either by pushing a rod into it or by extracting a plug of soil. This allows a better flow of water, air, and vital nutrients to the plant roots, making it easier for them to grow. Aerate in the spring and fall before top dressing or fertilizing
Thatch is the spongy mat of roots and stems that build up on the lawn surface. Once it reaches 0.5 in (1.25 cm) thick, it will grow rapidly and prevent drainage and aeration. Remove excess thatch with a heavy rake or de-thatching equipment.
Although sodding helps to reduce the number of weeds, it will not get rid of them completely. As long as there is soil with nutrients, wind and birds that will drop seeds onto the lawn, or a viable root left (some root systems grow a few feet deep), weeds will be part of our landscape.
The most effective method for weed spread prevention is ongoing manual removal. While the weed is still small and hasn't grown a deep root system (which can reach a few feet into the soil for some), pulling it out with the root is the easiest and has the best results—the weed will no longer grow in that location, and the spot it left will be naturally filled in by the grass. It’s easier to remove weeds with roots when the grass is wet.
Removing the weeds individually will also ensure that your desirable plants are not damaged in the process. It is best to remove the weed immediately after it pops up, before the root system is established to stop spreading. Please make sure that you remove manually all young and weak weeds that pop up (it's easy to do since they are still very weak). In some period of time you will see that new weeds don't appear anymore. But if you won't remove they will spread all over the lawn. You have new sod and new opportunity to maintain it in good condition.